Superbug spreads in Delhi sewers
* 14:55 07 April 2011 by Debora MacKenzie
* For similar stories, visit the Micro-organisms and Genetics Topic Guides
A gene that makes bacteria invulnerable to many antibiotics, including drugs of last resort, has just got a lot scarier. It was thought to pose a threat mainly in hospitals, but it has now been found in sewers and drinking water in India's capital, New Delhi.
And it is likely to be much more widespread than that. The gene has already invaded germs that cause cholera, dysentery and other major infections, and can jump readily among bacteria in the conditions of India's monsoon season.
Surveys are desperately needed to find out where it has gone and what bacteria carry it, say researchers. But political backlash in India has made it hard for scientists based in the country to do so – for instance, the water samples for
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